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236          MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

Amidst the mist-like autumn showers,

Shallow the stony rapids flow;
Its sprays besprinkle one another.

Up and down the egrets go.

—The Liianchia Rapids.

And here we come to the problem of suggestion. Some
modern Western painter has attempted the impossible by
trying to paint "the sound of sunshine going upstairs," but the
problem of artistic limitations has been partly overcome by
Chinese painters by the use of suggestion, really developed by
the poetic art. One can actually paint sounds and smell by the
method of suggestion. A Chinese painter would paint the
sound of temple bells without showing the bells at all on
the canvas, but possibly by merely showing the top of a temple
roof hidden among trees, and the effect of the sound on men's
faces. Interesting is the method of Chinese poets in suggesting
smell, which lends itself to pictorial handling. Thus a Chinese
poet describing the fragrance of the open country would write:

Coming back over flowers, fragrant are the

horse's hoofs.

Nothing would be easier than painting a flock of butterflies
flitting after the horse's hoofs, which is what a Chinese painter
actually did. By the same technique of suggestion, the poet
Liu Yiihsi wrote about the fragrance of a court lady:

In her new dress, she comes from her vermilion towers;
The light of spring floods the palace which Sorrow embowers.
To the court she comes, and on her carved jade hair-pin
Alights a dragon-fly, as she is counting the flowers.

The lines suggest to the reader the beauty and fragrance both
of the carved jade hair-pin and of the lady herself, a beauty
and fragrance which deceived the dragon-fly.

From this impressionistic technique of suggestion arose that
method of suggesting thought and sentiments which we call
symbolic thinking. The poet suggests ideas, not by verbose